Supreme Court Decision Further Harms Florida’s Economy/Job Growth

By: Edie Ousley

Florida Chamber Encourages a Legislative Fix to Bring Certainty Back to Employers and Workers 

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (June 9 , 2016) – Florida job creators were dealt another blow today as Florida’s high court, for the second time in less than two months, ruled against businesses in a case that causes even greater uncertainty in Florida’s workers’ compensation system, the Florida Chamber of Commerce said today. Today’s ruling comes just two weeks after NCCI announced a 17.1 percent recommended workers’ comp rate increase.

Today’s ruling in the Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg case declared the current system for temporary total disability (104 weeks) unconstitutional. The result of this case, compounded with the recent negative ruling in the Castellanos v. Next Door Company case, likely puts Florida’s workers’ comp rates back on the path toward the record level rates of the early 2000s.

“With job creators already facing a 17.1 percent workers’ comp rate increase, today’s ruling causes even more uncertainty, and is a further sign that Florida’s workers’ comp system is under attack,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “A legislative solution for both cases will help bring certainty back to Florida’s job creators and injured workers that Florida’s workers’ comp system is working.”

In the last 13 years, the Florida Chamber has led efforts to help lower workers’ comp rates by nearly 60 percent. Those efforts continue today, as the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Task Force has been engaging Florida’s highest elected leaders since last year, preparing them for this outcome and working with top legal minds to develop the right solution. In addition to task force meetings, six regional membership meetings (with more to come) have already taken place, and our local chamber federation is actively engaged – assessing the impact it will have on local businesses, and joining efforts toward solutions.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information.
136 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301